The predictably Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop finally deliver their EP Nights Like This, having long teased us with ‘Manners’: a song that won a slot on a Kistuné compilation and some buzz from respected music press. EP-opener ‘Lovers to Friends’ is consequently a bit of a disappointment, feeling like a slightly teen-y American pop number – something Miley Cyrus could release (with, admittedly, a few lyric changes) – and lets down the EP by its positioning.
‘Manners’ remains the stand-out – edgier than the first track – and instantly likable with its ‘oh no you didn’t’ sass and spirited ‘let me break it down for you’ lyrics: ‘you don’t just treat a girl like she’s a fool/like it’s up to you… Manners/take a second look and you’ll see/there’s no-one else like me…’ A finger-wagging dance move may need to go into development to accompany the shout-along chorus. Basically, it’s brilliant.
The title track’s breathy first verse gives way to a chanty-cheery, trilling chorus, coming off like the Sega-obsessed baby of Sophie Ellis Bextor and Natasha Bedingfield, but a bit less exciting than that sounds. And the final track, ‘Sun Goes Down’, starts out like Muse covering ‘The Final Countdown’ before cranking the spooky bleeps lever and following The Knife down an appropriately dark path. It is the second-best song on the EP, behind ‘Manners’.
Nights Like This then is a fun dollop of synthy electro-pop, but we’d already heard the best song and so it doesn’t fully capitalise on Icona Pop’s early promise. Not bad – good, in fact – but we’d hoped for just a wee bit better.